Lebanese kart champion Massaad confirmed as second signing for Double R Racing’s British F4 squad

Supplied by team’s PR.

  • Car rookie Karl Massaad signs for Double R in F4 British Championship.
  • Karting champion joins Linus Lundqvist at multiple race-winning team.
  • Massaad makes history as first Lebanese driver to compete in British F4.

16 FEBRUARY, 2017 – Lebanese karting champion Karl Massaad is officially confirmed as the second driver signing of 2017 for Double R Racing’s F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford squad, with just over six weeks to go until the start of the new season.

The 18-year-old from Beirut, who was born in Los Angeles in the USA and is now based in London where he is studying at the Hult International Business School, becomes the first Lebanese national to compete in the UK’s FIA sanctioned Formula 4 category. He arrives in the championship as a genuine car racing rookie with only a few days of testing under his belt thus far.

Regardless of his lack of experience in single-seaters, Massaad has performed well up to now at the wheel of Double R’s Ford EcoBoost-powered British F4 car. In officially timed pre-season testing at Oulton Park earlier this month, in changeable conditions, he lapped inside the top 10 and within 0.4 seconds of more experienced new team-mate Linus Lundqvist.

“Karl is a mature and smart driver and certainly has the potential to go a long way in single-seater racing from what we have seen so far”, said Double R team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt. “He’s only had a very limited amount of time in the car up to now but has made significant progress.

“He’s a great young talent to work with and actually reminds me very much of a young Carlos Heurtas [former Formula BMW and British Formula 3 racer with Double R]. We’re sure Karl is going to be a driver to watch as the season unfolds. We’ve got high hopes for him.”

Massaad, whose career is guided by Middle East Motorsports Management, started out karting in Lebanon in 2011 before progressing up through the X30 Super Shifter ranks on the European and World Championship stage.

He arrives in the F4 British Championship off the back of his most successful karting season by far last year, having become 2016 Lebanese X30 Super Shifter Champion with a remarkable 100 per cent tally of race wins. Massaad also received the FIA Young Driver International Seminar award, finished third in the X30 Super Shifter European Championship and fifth in the World Championship.

Looking ahead to his maiden season in British F4, Massaad said: “Being my first year in cars, I want to get up to speed as quickly as possible and hopefully push for the top five in the championship. That would be amazing.

“For sure, I want to try to take two or three podiums and then my aim is to try to move into F3 the year after. I’ve only had six days of testing so far, but it’s gone well and I’m quite confident for the season. It’s amazing to be working with a team like Double R in my first season in cars.”

Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent will host the opening three races of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford season over the weekend 1/2 April. The UK’s most competitive single-seater series stars on the live-televised TOCA package alongside the BTCC.

Swedish single-seater champion Linus Lundqvist joins 2017 F4 British Championship

  • Linus Lundqvist becomes first Double R Racing signing of 2017.
  • Rapid 17-year-old aiming to mount major British F4 title bid.
  • Formula STCC Nordic and NEZ Champion relishing UK debut.

30 JANUARY, 2017 – Highly rated Swedish single-seater champion Linus Lundqvist will race in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford in 2017, competing for Double R Racing.

17-year-old Lundqvist stormed to glory in the Scandinavian-based Formula STCC Nordic championship in 2016, winning 10 out of 14 races, as well as the North European Zone title.

In 2017 the Stockholm resident will set about his biggest challenge to date, leaving the Swedish arena to go head to head with some of motor racing’s most promising prospects in the UK’s official FIA Formula 4 series.

Lundqvist will take to the grid with Woking-based outfit Double R Racing and is eager to make a name for himself in the UK’s leading single-seater championship.

“It’s great to be able to take this step and to measure myself against the competition in the F4 British Championship,” said Lundqvist.

“This has been my target since winning the Formula STCC Nordic title last autumn, and I’m equally thrilled and grateful that we’ve made this happen along with Double R Racing.

“To be competing in single-seaters in Britain, in the heart of motorsport, is definitely a dream come true for me.”

Lundqvist has already got plenty of Ford EcoBoost-powered miles under his belt having tested the British F4 racer for three days at Silverstone, topping the times on each occasion at the home of the British Grand Prix.

“Testing has been very, very positive,” added Lundqvist. “It was all brand new to me; the car, the track, the tyres and the team, but the guys at Double R Racing have been fantastic and really helped me to acclimatise.

“This will be a big challenge for me, having only raced on the narrow tracks in Scandinavia, but I hope to be fighting for wins before too long.

“I want to establish myself abroad and prove what I can do, and to that end I’m sure British Formula 4 is the right path. I really am extremely excited and I can’t wait for the first race!”

Formed in 2004, Double R Racing currently fields cars in British F4 and F3; winning the F3 drivers’ title with British F4 graduate Matheus Leist in 2016.

The crack Double R Racing team claimed four wins last year in the F4 British Championship with Australian youngster Zane Goddard, who also added four more podium finishes to his tally over the course of the season.

Among those to have raced for the squad are the likes of Bruno Senna, Felipe Nasr and Lundqvist’s countryman Marcus Ericsson of the Sauber F1 team.

“I have to say that I’m genuinely impressed by what I’ve seen of Linus this winter,” said Double R Racing team boss Anthony ”Boyo” Hieatt.

“Testing went incredibly well. He turned up for the first time at Silverstone, a tough track with a lot of fast corners, and he immediately set the pace.

“He comes highly recommended by some people and I firmly believe that we’ll be running right at the front with Linus this year.

“I’d expect us to fight for race wins and the title, and we’re all excited to have Linus on board.”

A packed pre-season testing schedule begins in earnest this week on Friday 3 February at Oulton Park. Drivers will aim to get to grips with their Ford EcoBoost-powered machines ahead of the first meeting of the season which will take place at Double R’s ‘home’ track Brands Hatch, on 1/2 April.

2017 will once again see the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford star alongside the BTCC, as the sole single-seater support series on the live-televised TOCA package.

Images by Mattias Persson / Linus Lundqvist Racing.

TEAM NEWS: Dominant second British F4 win and triple podium for Goddard on Knockhill debut

Supplied by team’s PR.

•    Zane Goddard delivers faultless drive in Round 21 to seal second victory.
•    Double R driver sets impressive pace on maiden visit to Knockhill.
•    Australian chalks-up second podium hat-trick of F4 British season.

15 AUGUST, 2016 – Super competitive F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford racer Zane Goddard eased to a dominant second win of the season for Double R Racing at Knockhill in Scotland on Sunday, 14 August, to cap a sensational triple-podium finishing weekend for the rapid Australian.

For the second time this year, the previous occasion coming at Croft in North Yorkshire in late June, the 16-year-old from Surfers Paradise chalked-up podium finishes in all three contests and has now climbed into seventh place in the championship standings as a result.

Although taking the chequered flag in fourth place during round 19 on Saturday, 13 August, Goddard was elevated into third post-race due to an exclusion for a rival. Going on to deliver a fantastically competitive second place finish on the road in round 20 on Sunday morning, he then starred in round 21 to take an unchallenged victory from third on the grid.

“It’s a great track and I really enjoyed it from the start”, said an elated Goddard, “The fans have been fantastic, I really enjoyed their support, and it’s been an awesome weekend with three trophies to go home with – I’m stoked! It seems like our luck has turned, the team has been fantastic and it’s been a picture perfect weekend.”

Saturday morning’s qualifying session proved frustrating for Goddard and Double R with the drying track not working in their favour in the end. But despite qualifying eighth fastest for round 19, the Australian lined-up an improved sixth for race one of the weekend as a result of a grid penalty for one rival and with Rafael Martins’ car having to be wheeled off the grid due to a problem.

Making an absolutely electric getaway off the line, Goddard immediately leapt ahead of Devlin DeFrancesco and then swept around the outside at Turn One to take fourth place. Following an early Safety Car period, between laps three and six, he swarmed all over the back of Nicolai Kjaergaard.

At the end of lap six a shake-up at the hairpin resulted in DeFrancesco moving up into the top three with Kjaergaard dropping back behind Goddard, so the Double R driver remained fourth as the contest entered the seventh tour.

Another Safety Car period was called on lap 10 and when racing resumed on lap 13 Goddard again did a superb job at the re-start. Tight under the rear wing of DeFrancesco’s car, Goddard shadowed the Canadian to the finish on lap 20 to just miss out on the podium by a mere 0.389 seconds. He also lapped within a single tenth of a second of the race’s fastest lap.

Beginning round 20 on Sunday morning from third on the grid, Goddard immediately moved up into second place ahead of Jamie Caroline and ran within 0.6 seconds of compatriot Luis Leeds before the Safety Car was deployed in time for the start of lap three.

Racing resumed on lap five and Goddard really made his presence felt, pressuring Leeds and reeling off a series of fastest lap times. Closing to within just 0.5 seconds of the race leader by the end of lap nine, the Double R driver continued to circulate extremely quickly and in the end just missed out on the fastest lap of all by less than three-hundredths on his way to second place.

Again producing an electric getaway at the start of round 21 on Sunday afternoon, Goddard cut across to the outside of the track into the first corner and brilliantly grabbed second place from Leeds around the outside.

Then latching on to the tail of leader Alex Quinn, the Double R racer pressured his rival into the hairpin at the end of the lap and as Quinn locked-up and ran wide, Goddard was able to slice up the inside and on the run up the hill over the line he moved into the lead of the race.

From then on he didn’t look back as he reeled off fastest lap after fastest lap, utterly dominating the final race of the weekend. With a lead of two seconds at one third distance, the Double R ace increased his advantage to a huge 6.2 seconds into the final tour before taking the chequered flag on lap 24 some 5.8 seconds to the good. He also set fastest lap with a time of 50.232 seconds.

“It’s been a great weekend, fantastic to win again”, reflected Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, Double R Racing team principal, “Qualifying was alright, with the drying track it was always a question of do we pull Zane in while he’s P1 or stay out? In the end it didn’t work out but he raced fantastically.

“Knockhill is a new circuit for him but he learnt it pretty well in testing, he kept calm and out of trouble and probably had the pace to win more than one race really. He did a fantastic job, set fastest lap in the last race and it was a great team effort from the boys. It’s nice to beat Carlin, Fortec and Arden again – I’m confident we had the best set-up and driver combination this weekend.”

Rockingham in Northamptonshire will host the next three races of the F4 British Championship season a fortnight from now, on 27th/28th August. German starlet Carrie Schreiner, who is focusing on commitments in ADAC Formula 4 in her homeland, will bring Double R’s entry back up to two cars at Rockingham as she rejoins the British series for the first time since the Thruxton event in May.

TEAM NEWS: Sensational first F4 British Championship win for Double R Racing’s Zane Goddard

Supplied by team’s PR

•    Dominant lights-to-flag victory at Croft for teenager Zane Goddard.
•    Rapid Double R driver converts season-long promise into maiden win.
•    Woking squad returns to winning ways in F4 British Championship.
•    Podium hat-trick and three fastest laps for quick Australian.

20 JUNE, 2016 – Australian single-seater racer Zane Goddard produced a true star performance for Double R Racing at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire over the weekend, 18th/19th June, with an outstanding maiden F4 British Championship race victory in round 13 of the season sparking a hat-trick of podium finishes.

Dominating the first race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon from pole position, the 16-year-old opened up a lead of well over four seconds before a late race Safety Car period threatened to throw a potential spanner in the works.

During a final lap sprint, though, Goddard fended off a challenge by Devlin Defrancesco and went on to take the chequered flag 2.2 seconds to the good. He also posted the fastest lap of the race, a time of 1m20.978 seconds (94.47mph) – the only driver to circulate below the 1m21 second barrier.

During Sunday’s pair of contests, the Surfer’s Paradise racer set fastest lap again in round 14 and finished just 0.5 seconds shy of another win with a superb second place, from fifth on the grid, while in a rain-lashed round 15 he was second again and once more set fastest lap.

As the most successful driver across the course of the fifth event of the season, Goddard moved into the coveted championship top 10 with a haul of 61 points across the weekend – more than doubling his previous total for the first four events.

“I’m so happy to take my first win”, said Goddard, “I like the track, it’s a great track to drive and the car has been on fire here this weekend. I reckon this could be the turning point for us this season, we’ve been working really hard at it and the results have been getting better and better.

“When the Safety Car came in at the last minute [in race one], I wasn’t expecting it at all. I had a good lead before the Safety Car, everything went perfectly up to that point, but we managed to hold on and take the win so I’m really happy. Huge thanks to the team, to my dad back home and my mum here [at Croft].”

Double R Racing’s young antipodean was outstanding from the off during pre-event testing at Croft on Friday, 17th June, by setting the quickest time in session one and ending the day second fastest, before topping qualifying for the first time in his rookie season with a time of 1m20.708 seconds.

At the start of round 13 on Saturday, Goddard got away from the front of the grid very cleanly and led through Clervaux for the first time before ending the first lap 0.7 seconds clear. Reeling off a series of fastest laps, Goddard steadily increased his advantage to 4.3 seconds by the end of lap 11.

As a result of two cars coming together at Tower, though, the Safety Car was deployed in time for the start of lap 13 and at the resumption a lap later the Double R driver saw off his pursuers to chalk-up a richly deserved first success on British shores and the fastest lap of all.

Lining-up fifth on the grid for round 14 on Sunday afternoon, Goddard made a great start to climb into the top four but when Jamie Caroline locked-up and collided with leader Devlin Defrancesco at Sunny In on the first lap, Goddard leapt into second position.

After a three lap Safety Car period, the action resumed on the fifth tour with Goddard tight behind compatriot Luis Leeds. Although Leeds opened a one second advantage by the end of lap seven, Goddard reeled off a series of fastest laps – including the best of the race, a time of 1m21.935 seconds – to finish the contest just 0.5 seconds shy of another win.

For the final race of the weekend, round 15, Goddard started on pole position again but the third contest took place in wildly different conditions to the previous pair of encounters with rain and a very wet track surface providing an intense challenge.

The Double R driver did a great job at the start to hold the lead from pole but at Tower he was edged back to second by Defrancesco. Under pressure from Max Fewtrell into lap three, Goddard then picked up his pace and pulled 1.5 seconds clear of his pursuer as the race entered its second half.

With the weather and spray worsening, Goddard reveled in the conditions and on lap nine he actually set the fastest lap of the race, a time of 1m30.435 seconds, before ending the race on lap 10 in second position to complete a stunning podium hat-trick.

“It’s fantastic for Zane”, said elated Double R team boss Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “We’ve been working hard all season and although there hasn’t been much luck up to now, this weekend has been absolutely outstanding – fast in testing, two pole positions, one win, two other podiums and fastest lap in every race.

“Hopefully we can get Zane on a race winning campaign now for the rest of the season. The team has done a great job, the combination of the Mygale chassis with the Ford engine isn’t the easiest to work with and get the best from but the boys have worked so hard and it’s great to be back at the front and winning again in this championship.”

Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk will be the venue for the start of the second half of the F4 British Championship season six weeks from now, over the weekend 30th/31st July.